Our Wedding Day – Part 1

It was finally our wedding day – 23rd May 2009. My alarm went off at 5:30am. Sounds early I know. As we were getting married at the Registry Office, the latest ceremony they would perform was 11:30am and so that was the time we chose. As there were so many people staying at my parents the night before the wedding, I had to be the first up and in the one and only bathroom before anyone else, to make sure that I wasn’t delayed waiting for someone else to finish in the bathroom. I immediately got in the shower and then went to get some breakfast. I didn’t feel much like eating as I was feeling nervous and excited all at the same time.

I was doing my own makeup and I had a friend who was a hairdresser coming to do my hair. I also had to go and pick up the flowers when the florist opened at 9am. It was all go.

My makeup was first on my list as this needed to be done before the hairdresser turned up and she was due at 8:30am. I was sat in the kitchen with a flurry of activity going on around me with people trying to get ready. Suddenly out of nowhere, we heard this loud bang, clatter and shouting. It took a few minutes to figure out what was going on. It turned out that Pete’s step dad had slipped in the shower, tried to break his fall by grabbing the shower curtain and had fallen head first out of the bath taking the whole shower rail with him. I was laughing so hard I was crying……I ended up having to redo my makeup as I had smudged it all. Luckily he wasn’t hurt.

Next came my hair which for the first time in my life was actually behaving itself and was finished in no time at all. We fitted my tiara and veil and I was ready to go and collect my flowers. My oldest sister had come round during all of the madness, with my youngest niece who was going to be a flower girl, and she came with me to pick the flowers up. I certainly got a few stares as I was driving and running up and down the high street in jeans, a vest top, a full face of makeup, a tiara and a veil. I remember feeling like a right idiot ha ha ha.

We got the flowers home and then my sister and my dad took off to the reception venue to drop off the wedding cake and check on the decorations. During this time I dressed my nephew and niece in their page boy and flower girl clothes. They looked absolutely adorable.

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The photographer, who was also a work colleague and friend arrived amidst the madness and started taking some pictures.

When my sister and dad got back it was time to put on my dress. My sister came upstairs to help me whilst my mum and dad looked after my niece and nephew and Pete’s mum and step dad made their way to the Registry Office.

Whilst starting to get in my dress I heard the front door open and close. I went downstairs to find out who it was and found the photographer looking after my niece and nephew and my mum and dad were nowhere to be seen. When I asked where they were, the photographer informed me that my other sister had called with an emergency and so my mum and dad had rushed off to find out what was wrong. Luckily the photographer was kind enough to help look after the little ones whilst I finished getting into my dress and my mum and dad were back pretty quickly to take over again. It turned out my other sister was having a hair disaster and needed help. To say I wasn’t impressed was an understatement but I was determined not to let anything upset me that day. I then added the finishing touch….my wedding present from Pete – a Blue Tanzanite and Diamond necklace…..my something new and my something blue.

We had a little time to spare and so my mum asked if we wanted some pink champagne that she had been given as a gift. I’m not a wine or champagne drinker normally but I was a little nervous and so we agreed. Needless to say, we all had a couple of mouthfuls and then tipped it down the sink. It was disgusting ha ha ha. My dad soon replaced my glass with a neat brandy…..I could have kissed him. I drank 2 of those and then it was time to take a few more pictures before heading off to get married. It was strange standing on the street and having people come out of their houses just to have a look at my wedding dress.

Then it was time……..my dad and I got into the car and off we went…….

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1 Week To Go…

I finished work on the 15th of May 2009 for 2 weeks. That gave me a week before the wedding and a week after. We had a lot going on in those 2 weeks. Getting the keys to our military married quarters, meeting and greeting family coming from all over the UK and France, tying up the last little bits for the wedding, the actual wedding and moving house. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit a honeymoon in at that point and so we agreed to save for a while and have a really special honeymoon at a later date.

We drove to RAF Cranwell on Monday the 18th of May 2009 to get the keys to our new house. It was a 2 bedroomed house on a street near the camp and it was mixed military and civilian. This was our first experience with military housing and so we didn’t know what to expect. I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised at the room proportions and the size of the garden. It wasn’t massive but it was bigger than we were expecting. I remember thinking ‘thank god we asked for gift vouchers for wedding gifts so that we could buy more furniture as there was no way our sparse furniture from the flat would fill the house’.

I had only seen the RAF Cranwell once before and it was a short visit at night and so couldn’t really appreciate what I was seeing. I didn’t really know what to expect but the one thing that stood out to me was the massive College Hall Officers’ Mess (CHOM). It was one of the most impressive buildings I had ever seen.

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We hired a van and started moving our furniture etc. to the new house over the course of the week. The flat got steadily emptier until we literally only had the bare minimum left. We were due to officially move in on Monday the 25th of May, 2 days after the wedding.

On Wednesday the 20th of May 2009, Pete’s mum and stepdad flew over from France and came to stay at my parents house for the wedding. We collected them from East Midlands Airport and from there, we drove to our new house to show them around.

The rest of our families arrived over the course of the next couple of days and we spent our time driving round and spending time with them all in between last minute wedding preparations. Manic is a polite way of describing it. The night before the wedding we spent time with Pete’s brothers at their hotel. This was the same hotel we had booked to spend our wedding night and the night after in and so it was very convenient. Pete was spending the night there and would be getting ready with his brothers in the morning and I was due to spend the night at my parents. There were a lot of people staying at my parents that night and so I ended up sleeping on an air bed in the living room with my 5 year old nephew Tyla. I have never known a child so small that could take up so much space….starfish is not the word for what he was doing to take up so much space!! He seemed to sleep well though ha ha.

Together Again

I would like to say we slipped back into life as a couple easily again…..like Pete had never been away, but things are never that simple. We had been living apart for months and this created some awkwardness when it came to sharing the same space again. It was the simple things that seemed so strange – sharing the bed with someone, fighting for the bathroom, arguing over what to watch on television etc. I had been so used to doing it all my own way again and suddenly Pete was back and I had to consider him in my routine.

I have to be honest and say it’s a completely different experience than when you first start dating someone and they integrate slowly in to your life and so it’s a natural transition. Imagine getting into a relationship with someone and having them move in straight away and then trying to figure out the logistics around it whilst getting to know them. That’s more like the experience that we had. Obviously we knew each other well but it was an immediate full intrusion and involved a lot of compromising from both of us to make things run smoothly again. We got there eventually though even if it wasn’t plain sailing.

The other thing that I found strange was including Pete in the wedding planning. I know how odd that must sound but whilst he was away, he was happy for me to make all of the decisions. There were a couple of occasions after Pete got home that I went to make decisions and then remembered he was home again and I needed to check with him. Luckily for me, Pete and I seemed to want the same things. Very little fuss – quite a small ceremony at the Registry Office followed by an afternoon meal for family and an evening reception for our family and close friends. The last few weeks before the wedding were hectic and we had a number of last minute issues to contend with such as the DJ for the evening reception was uncontactable in the 3 weeks beforehand and left me in a panic. We decided on a few last minute additions such as cars and a professional photographer which we hadn’t wanted originally. I also decided that I wanted to be hands on with some of the decorations and I hand made all of the place cards and wedding favours. My sister was making my wedding cake and I decided to help her make all of the flowers to decorate it with. They were all hand made too and edible. Don’t ask me what madness made me take that on just before the wedding. Luckily it turned out well for the first time I had done anything like that and I was pleased. The wedding was all set and we had the dates set for collecting the keys to our new married quarters at RAF Cranwell and a date to move in. Now we just had to get ready for the wedding and the move……….place-cardswedding-cake

Coming Home

Firstly, let me apologise for the big gap between this post and my last. I have been dealing with some personal issues and so this has prevented me from posting. I am back now though and will continue with my posts.

The months that Pete had been gone seemed to drag and fly by all at the same time. I know that is a complete contradiction but let me explain. There were times when I was so busy trying to manage everything that the time just seemed to pass by in a blur. Aside from work and juggling all of our personal business, I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day. Then at other times, it felt like Pete had been gone for years, not months. Although I had my routine and was extremely busy, I felt so alone. Pete wasn’t there to turn to if I needed anything and so I felt like I was single again. Obviously not in the relationship aspect, but in the emotional one, it was a very strange and unsettling feeling.

In the run up to Pete coming home I found I had a mix of emotions going on. The weirdest one was feeling angry at Pete. Every time I spoke to him and he told me that he was bored or he was just following the same old routine, I found that I got more and more angry at him. I know how that sounds but in my head, all I could think was ‘here I am struggling to get everything done and keep everything going smoothly for the wedding and you’re telling me you’re bored!!’ I was aware of how stupid that was and that it wasn’t Pete’s fault but I couldn’t help feeling that way. It’s ok for the person going away….they just focus on what they are going to do. It’s the person left behind that has to pick up all the loose ends and keep everything going and I think people tend to forget that. Every time I spoke to our families or friends, people asked how Pete was but no one asked how I was or how I was coping. That just made me more angry. The other overriding feeling and emotion was nerves and anxiety. I love Pete with all my heart but we had been apart from each other for months and he hadn’t featured in my routine for that whole time. It was strange thinking about him coming home and fitting back in to my life again. I didnt know what to expect. You hear so many stories about people going away on deployment and coming back different because of their experiences and I couldn’t stop the nervous feeling that things would have changed. It was very uncomfortable.

In the week before Pete came home I was so anxious, but also so excited, that I actually made myself ill. I couldn’t eat or sleep properly. I kept trying to picture what it would be like. Even through my nerves I had this excited image in my head that when he got home, he would run to me, pull me into his arms and swing me around…..like something from a movie. The reality was very different. I met him at the curb as his car pulled up and we kind of looked at each other for a moment and then followed it up with a very stiff hug……awkward!!! It turns out that he had been worried about the same thing as I had which led to a very weird reunion ha ha ha. Needless to say, through all of it, I was so glad to have him home again.

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